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What should I do to to change my name in the UK?

Changing your name is easy since all you need to do is start using the new name. However, if you want the new name included in your official documents, you must go through a particular legal process. What steps must you take, and how do you know if you’re eligible? Let’s find out!

How To Change Your Name in the UK

Reasons To Change Your Name

Changing your name is becoming more familiar with individuals changing their names for an array of reasons, which include:

  • • When you take up your partner’s name after marriage
  • • Dropping your former spouse’s name after divorce
  • • Witness protection
  • • Starting life afresh
  • • Changing a child’s name
  • • Political reasons
  • • Personal preferences

Who Can Request a Change of Name?

A change of names is a right of every individual. However, not every person is allowed to change their name in the UK legally. Some people who can’t use a new identity in the UK include anyone without the mental capacity to decide for themselves.

You can’t change your name without assistance if you are below 16 years.

People with criminal proceedings, a criminal record, or probation must notify the relevant authorities after changing their names. Persons on the violent and sex offender register must inform the police within three days of changing their names; otherwise, it is considered an offense, punishable by up to 5 years in jail.

Requirements And Documentation Needed

There’s only one legal way to change your name in the UK. Every person intending to change their names must involve the courts for this to be considered legal. The most relevant documents required to complete this process are:

  • • A change of name deed poll form (LOCO20 for adults and LOCO22 for minors)
  • • Suggested form of affidavit of best interest for minors (LOCO23)
  • • A statutory declaration for the deed poll (Adults LOCO21 and minors LOCO24)
  • • Notice for the London gazette (Adults LOCO25 and minors LOCO26)
  • • Application fees

Where And How to Apply

Applications for this procedure are available online on the official government website. You can either use an enrolled deed poll or enroll yours. If you opt for the latter option, you must use a designated format to make the process smooth. Applicants must download the provided forms, fill them out, and mail the application. While the office provides an email, it is only valid for inquiries.

You can request a deed poll even from abroad. However, you must change your passport details and other necessary travel documents too for you to have access back into the country. However, you can’t request a name change if you are a resident in another country.

Who Should You Notify of The Change?

Most people have no legal obligation to notify anyone about their name change. However, you should let the police know you’ve changed your name within three days if you are on the violent and sex offender record. If you’re under parole or probation, you should inform the probation officer about the name change.

You must update your name on your driving licence if you have one and on your biometric residence permit to avoid incurring fines. Directors of a UK company must also update their names in the company’s register of directors.

Cost, Validity, And Processing Time

The cost of changing your name in the UK is £42 for adults and minors. Your new name is valid indefinitely or until you decide to switch to a new one. The deeds office will process your application in three working days and dispatch it to you.

So, you will receive the stamped deed in 4-5 days. However, if you want a premium service, you can receive the deed the same day, provided they receive the application by 3:00 pm. If the deeds office receives it any time past 3:00 pm, you will receive the stamped deed the next day. For this premium service, you will pay an extra £4.50.